How I Resize a Ring

How I Resize a Ring - Corey Egan
Is your ring a bit too big, or a little too small? Think of resizing a ring as minor jewelry surgery. It's a routine process in a jewelry studio, but one requires careful craftsmanship.

To resize a ring we reshape the metal band to make the opening for your finger bigger or smaller. One way is by compressing or stretching the band. Another is by cutting into the band and adding or subtracting the correct amount of metal.

This second, more fiery method, is the one I am sharing today. Hop on over to the jewelers bench with me and let's get to work!

To start, I take a jewelers saw and make a clean cut in the ring band. Then I stretch the ring open on my mandrel a little larger than my desired size of 9


I bend the open ends slightly so the two align and their cuts are parallel. I cut a piece of gold stock to the appropriate length, and it gets inserted into this opening in the band. If the ends meet flush with no gaps, it's ready for soldering.


I dip the ring in firecoat and add flux to the seam. Using the torch I then flow solder into the seams one by one.


When the soldering is complete, the ring is not perfectly round. So I place it back on my mandrel and use a rawhide hammer to gently reshape the band.


I clean up the seams with a bit of sandpaper to remove any excess solder.


The round ring band is then polished to a high gloss. My work here is done!


As you can see from the process above, resizing does put a bit of stress on the metal. It's best to order as close to your finger size possible so it doesn't need to bend or stretch too far. Precious metals have limits to how much stress they can endure and still retain their strength.

You should also keep in mind that not all rings can be resized after they're created. Eternity bands with diamonds that go all the way around can't be bent or hammered into a new size. Some gemstones can't undergo the heat of the torch needed for resizing.

Your jeweler will approach resizing your rings on a case-by-case basis. But if you have questions about whether a potential ring can be resized down the road, ask them! We're here to guide you toward the ring that will suit you for years to come.

Ring Resizing Tips:
    • The best way to get a proper ring size measurement is by a professional jeweler and our ring sizing tools.
      • The very best measurement will be by the jeweler who is making your ring. 
      • The second best measurement is by another jeweler. Sadly, our sizing tools vary from brand to brand (Its as frustrating for us as it is for you, trust me!) and can be as much as half a size different! Ask the jeweler the brand they use and pass this on when you buy.
    • Your fingers swell and shrink on a normal basis throughout the day. Mid afternoon, after you've eaten lunch is usually a good time to get an accurate measurement. 
    • Beware print-and-size guides from the internet, or methods that use strips of paper or string. Rigid sizers are best. You need to simulate what it's like to move the ring over your knuckle to determine the right fit. 


About the Author

As a long-time jewelry designer, I love the process of sculpting, engraving, and setting everything by hand. Through my exploration of texture-driven techniques and organic shapes, I hope you can feel my passionate energy and intention behind every piece.

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